On the opening possession of his first collegiate game, Denzel Burke was on the field for Ohio State.
The true freshman cornerback, a four-star recruit and the No. 196 overall prospect in the class of 2021, started his first game in scarlet and gray, as redshirt junior Cameron Brown was listed as unavailable prior earlier on Thursday.
Senior Sevyn Banks, another player projected to start at outside corner, did not participate in the Buckeyes' final warmups before the game, although he was not listed as unavailable in the team's status report.
Burke, a Scottsdale, Arizona, native, became the first Buckeye to shed his black stripe during fall camp, "officially" becoming a member of the team on Aug. 7.
“It's actually uncanny how natural he does a lot of things at corner for not having played there very much,” secondary coach Matt Barnes said in April. “I don't know if it's 7-on-7 development or he just had a trainer or somebody he worked with, but he does a lot of things naturally very well. It's been fun to watch.”
Opposite Burke, redshirt freshman Ryan Watts also started at outside corner, with both Banks and Brown sidelined.
Brown suffered a torn Achilles during the Buckeyes' second game of the 2020 season at Penn State, but returned to action at the start of fall camp. The reason for his unavailability remains undisclosed at this time. Banks missed spring camp with an undisclosed injury, and despite returning for the preseason, was out for several practices during the fall with an apparent issue.